Pitso Mosimane upbeat despite Sundowns’ defeat to United

2014-07-19 21:23

Mamelodi Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane says he is pleased with how the defending Absa Premiership champions have gelled during their preseason training, despite the defeat to rivals SuperSport United in the Gauteng Football Cup at the Lucas Moripe Stadium in Pretoria.

Sundowns lost 4-3 on penalties today after a 1-1 stalemate in regulation time.

“It’s two more weeks to go before our MTN8 Cup [against Platinum Stars on August 2]. The team looks good because we got the formation and shape right but we still have a lot do in the final half,” said Mosimane, who brought a bloated team to the four-team tournament, where he paraded five new players.

Sundowns’ new signings included Lindokuhle Mbatha from Platinum Stars, Luyolo Nomandela (Free State Stars), Asavela Mbekile (Swallows), Mario Booysens (Maritzburg United) and Siyanda Zwane (Golden Arrows).

The Brazilians demolished Moroka Swallows 5-0 to book a final against United, who came back from behind in both their matches at the one-day event.

United also won on penalties after they turned a 2-0 deficit around to force a penalty shoot-out in their semifinal against the University of Pretoria.

United coach Cavin Johnson said: “We achieved what we wanted to achieve in both matches because this is preseason and it’s all about getting ready for the new season.”

Meanwhile, Swallows unleashed a new line-up after they released 10 players.

They have signed Obren Cuckovic from Serbia, Boris Savic (Bosnia and Herzegovina), Vladimir Mandic (Slovenia) and Kevin Obwaka (Kenya) while they had Peter Nwadike (Nigeria) on trial.

The new local players in the Birds team were Tsietsi Mahoa (Celtic) and Lantshene Phalane (Platinum Stars).

Swallows coach Zeca Marques said he expected a baptism of fire for his new team but the heavy defeat was disappointing.

“We hope to get our rhythm once the season starts,” said Marques, whose side escaped relegation last season.

» Read more on this story in City Press newspaper tomorrow

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